So You Want To Be A Lawyer, Part 1: A Brief History of the Legal Profession

HEY! So, there were a lot of great suggestions for posts yesterday from my newly found technicolor zoo of friendly animal-people, but I woke up this morning and thought to myself: “Am I gonna listen to these assholes? I don’t even let other lawyers suggest what the fuck I’m going to write about!”

So today, I’m writing for all the people out there, you sweet little clueless shits, that have decided they may want to be lawyers. I plan on making this a continuing series, by the way, because there’s a lot to be said to the dumbasses that feel the need to become attorneys.

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Screw The Optics: Why Lawyers Need Vacations

So, this weekend I had the chance to talk to my father. If you’re a reader of my inane ramblings that aren’t exclusively practice guides, you know a little about Dad already, and if you don’t you can read a lot more about him here than you really want to know. The gist of the phone call was arranging a pickup point for us to exchange my kids this weekend, as they’re going to spend a week with my parents and explore all the wonders the Bluegrass state has to offer…or at least all the wonders they can enjoy before they turn 21. Which, considering the main exports of Kentucky, are bourbon, tobacco, and horses, aren’t much.

During the course of the conversation, Dad said to me “You should really take a week off and come down to visit. It’d do you some good.”

“Gee whiz Dad,” I answered, “I’d love to, but I’ve got so much going on right now. Depositions, hearings, client meetings, and some appellate stuff that has a pretty firm deadline. Maybe next year.”

“You know, if you don’t get away from that office you’re going to lose your mind.”

“That’s ridiculous,” I told him as I built a new friend out of pipe cleaners and drain hair, “I’ve got it all together.”

“Just remember, you gotta take care of yourself or you can’t take care of your clients.

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“Come get your file.”: 4 Reasons to Fire A Client

So, first things first, I know I didn’t exactly keep up with the two posts this week, one on Wednesday and one on Thursday. I had a very painful, very intimate health issue that I can tell you all about if you want to hear about it, but I’m pretty sure nobody wants the details on that one. Let’s just say that my house and office were filled with curse words until sweet relief came in the middle of the night last night. It was like a biblical plague.

Every lawyer has clients that they just can’t fucking stand. If you’ve read any of my past blog posts, which by now you damn well should have, you know that I’m of the general opinion that every client should be dropped and the practice of law should simply consist of people handing me money to review high-minded concepts. Still, if you’re a real lawyer (i.e not one of those carefully preened, always correct, latte-sipping in-house monkeys that only has to deal with “Gary from Sales” and has fucking interns to make a Starbucks run for them) eventually you’ll have to get over your longstanding disdain for people and take on clients. In theory, this should be a mutually beneficial relationship, as clients will come to you with problems, you will advise them and/or represent them in regards to their problems, and you then get paid for resolving those problems.

Isn’t that just the fucking fairy tale?  Still, we all fucking know that’s not how this shit actually works, because at one point or another every lawyer has received a phone call or an email from a client that made them sit the fuck up and say “I’m firing this asshole.” It’s damn near a rite of passage for attorneys, firing their asshole clients. But it’s one they give you absolutely no training on in law school, so how the fuck is a new attorney expected to know when is the moment to tell a client “Fuck you, come get your file.” Is it when they start to be annoying? When you have too much goddamn work to do? When, Lord? When is it appropriate to unilaterally terminate your relationship with the chucklefuck?

Have no fear, shitstains, Boozy’s here.

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Stop Using a Thesaurus: Boozy’s Briefing Tips

Let’s talk about briefs, baby/Let’s talk about Rule 12(b)!

Once again, there’s a reason lawyer don’t write song lyrics. Mainly because we’re incapable of processing actual humor past a certain point in our career and end up telling jokes that include Latin phrases and case names. Jesus, we’re a boring lot of assholes when you get right down to it, aren’t we? Mostly because of the shit we have to put up with on a day-to-day basis, not just the clients but also the drudgery of the work that we do. I mean, Law & Order is great, but it sure as hell isn’t an accurate depiction of the life of a lawyer, criminal or civil.

I tell my clients, especially when they start climbing up my ass because they don’t know why they haven’t gotten THEIR DAY IN COURT yet (God do I hate that fucking phrase) that about 90% of what actually goes on in the practice of law is behind the scenes and known only to the client when they receive the invoice for the work performed. A client will never understand researching the merits of a claim, drafting a pleading, or briefing a matter.

Speaking of briefs, can you guess what we’re going to talk about today? Yeah, that’s right, we’re about to start talking about the importance of briefing accurately and completely, because recent events have convinced me that most lawyers out there are complete fucking incompetents who view brief-writing as a form of fingerpainting. It isn’t, dipshit. Entire cases can be won or lost based on the strength of your brief.

And, in true lawyer fashion, I’m gonna talk about something called a”brief” and spend a long time doing it.

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Negotiation, How the [Expletive Deleted] Does It Work? Part 3: Don’t be the problem.

Wasn’t that a nice little respite yesterday? I thought it was, if for no other reason than talking about Infinilaw and its burgeoning collapse brought joy to my otherwise dreary day. There’s always an upside to a law school just failing so spectacularly, especially when it’s associated with another law school that just can’t help but fail so damn spectacularly.

Alright, so, first things first, you may notice I’m making my headlines safe for work. This was by request. Apparently there are some nervous nellies in the world who are concerned about things like “What if the firm sees what I’m posting on my Twitter” and such. I get it. I do. Believe it or not, I have a professional Twitter and such as well, I just don’t really post shit to it because seriously, who wants to get their clients from Twitter? As a lawyer, I can’t type a damn thing in 140 characters or less.  As the Boozy Barrister, however, I have the freedom to post whatever I damn well please up until the moment I get sued.

So there, all you Sensitive-fucking-Sallies out there. You can now share the headline without worrying about what your bosses think until they read the post.  I do want to point out, though, that my posts were shared by Federal Magistrate Judges, goddammit.

Next thing I know, you assholes will want me to start putting trigger warnings on shit.

So, that said, today’s the last part in my three part series: “Negotiation, How the Fuck Does It Work?”  Part 1 was all about how the concept of principled negotiation is taught in law school, and you can find it here.  Part 2 focuses on negotiation styles that are going to drive you out of your goddamn mind, and you’ll find that one here. So now we know, right, and that’s half the goddamn battle.  But you know what the other half of the battle is?

Not being the sole fucking reason a case doesn’t settle.

Continue reading “Negotiation, How the [Expletive Deleted] Does It Work? Part 3: Don’t be the problem.”